In-form Bristol Rovers striker on his World Cup dream and where he was for EURO 2016

The in-form striker is hopeful of making the trip to Qatar
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Aaron Collins is relaxed about the prospect of representing Wales in the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, following a blistering run of form with Bristol Rovers.

The forward has recorded 14 goal contributions in as many games for the Gas this season, including a brace and an assist in their 4-1 win against Cheltenham Town on Saturday.

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Wales boss Robert Page has until Friday, October 21 to decide on an initial list of 35-55 players that could make the trip to Qatar, before the manager must name a final 26-man squad on Sunday, November 13.

“It would be a dream of mine to get myself into that squad,” Collins said. “But there are so many talented players that will be chosen ahead of me. At the end of the day, I’m trying to get my name out there and prove I’m good enough. If the chance comes, the chance comes.

“There is a chance and we’ve still got a few games until the squad gets picked so hopefully, I can go and get a couple more goals, a couple more assists and give myself a right chance of getting into that squad.”

The 25-year-old has represented the Dragons at under-19 level in the past but wasn’t given the chance in the under-21s.

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Collins, though, wasn’t shy in hiding how much it would mean to him to play for his home country at senior level – especially in their first World Cup appearance in 64 years.

“It would mean the world,” he said. “It’s the World Cup at the end of the day. We’ve had trouble getting there in the past and now we’ve got there… I love Wales, it’s my country and everything. Time will tell.”

Despite the Dragons’ rather shocking record of WC appearances, one international tournament that will live long in the memories of Welsh fans is their Euro 2016 campaign.

Chris Coleman led his side to a memorable 3-1 quarter-final victory against Belgium before they were eventually knocked out by tournament winners Portugal, in the semis.

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Collins reflected on the tournament from his point of view at the time: “I fully remember that. I’m trying to think where I was now, but I remember going to watch the Belgium game in Cardiff. The limbs, honestly.

“If I can get that chance to be there, it’d be phenomenal. We were in a massive park with a big screen and everything, it was good, it was obviously a good moment in Wales history as well.”

Unlike the Premier League and EFL Championship, who will have a break during the tournament, League One and League Two will continue to play their domestic matches throughout the competition. Therefore, Collins’ potential inclusion in the squad would be a big blow to Joey Barton’s side.

It will be interesting to see whether the striker’s form continues over the coming weeks and whether Collins can do enough to catch Page’s eye.

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